Dive Site: Black Rock Aitutaki

Barge wreck with diver for scale at black rock aitutaki diving cook islands banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic hard coral reef
Depth: Top: 8MMedian: 12MBottom: 31M
Location: End of the Arutanga Passage, and slightly north outside the fringing reef.

Description

The Black Rock dive site has large, hard coral stacks where turtles can be found resting; between these are gullies and there is a swim-through and the wreck of a barge to explore.

Following the dive guide shows terrain at Black Rock diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

On the way to the swim through we encounter a few fish in pairs: Solander’s Tobies, and the rare Four-spot butterflies.

Two Fourspot Butterflyfish at Black Rock diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

The clear water gives the swim through an ethereal blue quality.

Swim through at Black Rock diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

As wrecks go, the barge is simple and open, and there are a few places where you can shine a light and probably give the nightfish hiding in there a fright.

Inside the wreck at Black Rock diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

On this dive too, there are Napoleon Wrasse hovering cautiously at the same depth close enough to observe us. If you turn towards them, they quietly drop into the gully and disappear.

Napolean wrasse at Black Rock diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

It was on this dive that I got the best shot of an Achilles Tang, a kind of surgeon with unmistakable markings and bright orange patch on the rear of the body.

Archilles Tang at Black Rock diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit